Thursday, October 11, 2012

The surrogate spouse?

Meet Nip.

Early in this blog I wrote a post about feeling irrelevant.  Well, a couple of cats I adopted 5 months after my husband's death helped a bit.  I adore them.  Meet Nip.  Tux you'll meet soon :-).  That these cats hugely related to my loss became clear, when every year on my husband's birthday I wanted to adopt another.  My sister talked me out of it, or else I'd have seven cats now instead of two.

Something in me wants to care for someone or something. I want a central role and sense of continuity that volunteering or friends or extended family cannot provide.  My spouse is dead.  Now what?

I've been dating three long years now.   At first my heart was limp, but it did roar back to life. That part is great.  Obviously I'm looking for a man to love, but what I have come to appreciate instead is the fact that I had some pretty decent surrogate spouses already in place.   Besides my two cats, I have my garden.  And my house.  They offer me enough return on my investment, pleasure wise.  And I have a handyman I can depend on now.  Of course they do a crappy job of addressing the loneliness.  I may never live with a man again.  Face it.   With this blog as my witness, I have to make peace.  

I figure I have a chance at happiness, if even a blind pig can find an acorn every once in a while.  Someone I love needs to inhabit this life I'm living.   What I realized this summer is that this person was here all along. Welcome home, GowitheFlo.  I love you.

Weirdly enough, when I welcomed this adorable little girl and grown woman back into my life something strange happened.  Someone 230 miles away emptied out a bag he had retrieved from the back of his closet, and a 26 year old letter from me fell out.   He'd always thought well of me.   Facebook connected us and now we're friends again.  He matters to me.

Net result of all this grief and inner effort?  An epiphany this morning: I don't need my late spouse any more.  It has taken an awfully long time to get here.  I started writing this blog to hold myself accountable for moving forward.  Am I really O.K. now?

I expect my late husband is now saying  "I love you, honey, and I'm leaving you because you'll be O.K. "
To him I say "I miss you, but not so much. I love you, but I'll be alright.  I have found a way to go on."

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